• Romanian will face American teen Sloane Stephens • First women’s singles semi is contested at Flushing Meadows since 2012
Emma Rogucanu made up for missing out on Grand Slam finals by upsetting the Swiss young gun Belinda Bencic to reach the US Open quarter-finals on Friday.
The Romanian said she felt “really confident” heading into her matchup with 18-year-old American Sloane Stephens, an opponent who beat her in straight sets in the third round at Flushing Meadows last year, with three titles this season.
Rogucanu reached the US Open semi-finals for the first time in her career, 11 years after reaching the semifinals at the Australian Open where she lost to Justine Henin.
Bencic, who was beaten in the final of the Rogers Cup in Montreal this month, had advanced to the quarter-finals in straight sets in the year’s final grand slam in New York for the past three years.
But Rogucanu became the first female opponent to record consecutive victories over Bencic this year after claiming a 6-4 6-4 win over the second seed, who was bidding to become the first female Swiss in the last eight at Flushing Meadows since Martina Hingis won in 1999.
Rogucanu will face Sloane Stephens, who beat her in straight sets in the third round of the tournament last year, for a place in the semi-finals on Saturday.
“Sloane is such a great player and has amazing weapons. She’s been so consistent throughout her career,” Rogucanu said.
“I know I have to play a very good match against her if I want to go very far in the tournament. She is going to be tricky. I am looking forward to it, to be honest.”
Rogucanu, a world number 130, has the advantage of having competed at Flushing Meadows before, having reached the third round there in 2016 before losing to Sabine Lisicki in four sets.
“I was pretty confident that I could make the third round this year,” Rogucanu said. “Maybe not the quarters but I’m not going to really change too much. I tried a lot of different things and tried to match her shot for shot, which worked well.
“Sloane’s a really great player. It’s a pleasure to play her.”
The US Open starts on 27 August with the men’s quarter-finals at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.